Basic housekeeping how-tos you wish you'd asked for sooner

­Chores that you AREN’T paid for…scandalous, right?

When we first lived in halls, it took us a few weeks to realise that someone would have to clean the fridge at some point. That no one was about to start vacuuming up our dust bunnies. Gutted, it turns out that the sock fairy isn’t real either.

If you’re like “same”, there’s no judgement here. Not everyone knows how often you should change your sheets (you have to CHANGE them?!) or how to wash clothes, especially if you were living your best life at home with mum ‘n’ dad and they usually did that stuff for you.

We get why – housekeeping looks like pretty hard work and we know you probably won’t keep your flat show-home tidy, but trust us, with our housekeeping how-tos you’ll be changing lightbulbs with your eyes closed in no time.

Welcome to the wonderful world of adulting, my friend!

How to wash clothes

Okay so, you may have heard many a laundry horror story – from white t-shirts coming out hot pink to jumpers shrinking to the size of a babygrow. We don’t blame you for staying far away!

But now it’s time to venture into the unexplored territory of the laundry room (cue dramatic music).

Say “adios” to wearing underwear inside out and buying new clothes because you’re too scared (or lazy) to clean your delicates – you’ll know how to wash clothes in no time with our top tips. Before you start pressing buttons, read the labels. Find out what temperature and cycle to use, how to dry and even how to iron them if you want to (lol).

It’s time to separate

If you want to keep your fave tees white, make sure you ALWAYS keep your bright-red onesie and dark blue jeans far, far away (you’ll thank us later). Separate your dirty laundry into whites, brights, darks and delicates. We understand this can be a bit of a faff; if you’re in a rush, colour catchers should mean you can do your washing in one go, without worrying about a mess at the end – genius!

Then just pick a setting that suits your batch (the synthetics cycle is your best bet if you’re a bit frazzled) and bish bash bosh, clean clothes. Magic, right?

Chuck em’ in the dryer on the right temperature (Choose 140˚ – 150˚ for general stuff, 160˚ for cottons like bed sheets and towels, and 110˚ – 120˚ for delicates) or air-dry them on the radiator and ta-da! Fresh laundry in no time.

How often SHOULD you change your sheets?

Has that pizza stain been on your duvet for a good month? (We feel ya, there’s nothing more divine than eating takeaway in bed after a night out). If the answer is yes, congrats – one in four people in the UK only wash their sheets every four weeks and you’re one of them!

So how often should you change your sheets? Well truth’s out folks. Experts say you should wash them at least once a week at a high temperature, to kill the nasty bacteria and get rid of any dirt (or drool).

The final hurdle: How to put on a duvet cover

It may look like an impossible task but we believe in you!

  1. Start with the duvet cover inside out and reach inside so your hands are close to the corners of the sheet.
  2. Next, grab the duvet corners with both sheet-covered hands. Pull your arms towards you through the bottom of the sheet to turn it the right way round again and shake so that the whole duvet is covered (maybe play Taylor Swift’s “shake it off” for this bit).
  3. Fasten the bottom and voila!

How to use a dishwasher

Do you have an ever-growing pile of gross dishes in the sink because you have no clue how to use the dishwasher? It’s totally easy and means you never have to get your hands dirty.

Strategy is KEY! Well, kind of.

Make sure any pizza crusts and burnt toast chunks are scraped into the bin first (no one likes a clogged dishwasher), then place each plate into the slots on the lower rack; along with any messy pots ‘n’ pans. Don’t stack anything bottom down – if dirty water can gather there, it will!

No forks left in the drawer? No probs. Put cutlery in the basket (handle down) for the ultimate jet wash.

The top rack is perf for any bowls, mugs and wine glasses that are lying around after pre-drinks the night before. Again, stack bottom-up and fill the rack so they all fit in without overcrowding.

Next, pop a dishwasher tablet into the little flap on the door and choose the regular cycle. Otherwise, you can use eco or intensive settings, depending on your dishwasher (and the state of the dishes!)

How to clean your fridge

What’s in your fridge can say a lot about you, so you don’t want a filthy one do you?

The pros say you should deep clean your fridge every three to four months – probs a good idea if you want to avoid giving your mates food poisoning.

Remove all of your food (make the most of the opportunity to clear out that mouldy cheese lurking on the top shelf) and take out any drawers and shelves to be refreshed.

Wipe down everything with some warm, soapy water or fridge-safe wipes and use baking soda for any stubborn stains. That’s all there is to it tbh – you’ll be a cleaning pro in no time!

How to change a lightbulb

Has your bedroom bulb blown just as you were getting into the groove of those past papers? NO ONE PANIC – it’s not the apocalypse just yet.

Start by making sure the power is 100% turned off (usually the big, red power button on the fuse box) – we don’t want any accidents!

When the bulb is cool, push it upwards gently and turn anticlockwise until it’s released from the socket. Then put a brand-spanking new bulb in its place by turning it clockwise, put the power back on and you’re all set!

Do you have any other handy housekeeping tips that you think we’ve missed? Holla at us on Facebook today and we’ll add your idea and credit you here in this post! Happy housekeeping.

Head back to the #YouGotThis hub for more of our handy student guides!